@PING 10

Ping takes a stab at 250 two-stroke vs. 250 four-stroke, managing multiple jobs while still having time to ride, and A1 track layout.



Your column is great and your podcast on the Whiskey Throttle Show was very enlightening. Here's my question: what displacement of 2-stroke would it take to equalize horsepower with a 250 4-stroke?


Honestly, with the performance of modern four-strokes, the two machines can go head-to-head at 250cc. The two-stroke will make more peak power on a dyno, but the torque is less and the power is in a much narrower range than the four-stroke. That makes the two-stroke more difficult to ride, even though there is a power advantage. I’m all for an open class of 250cc displacement. A privateer could build a competitive bike and maintain it much more cheaply and easily than he could a four-stroke. He might also have a chance at pulling some holeshots, a trick that doesn’t happen often now. I think all the factory teams would stick to what they are riding, but maybe it would create a couple new teams with the support of two-stroke companies. They actually did this in Canada and one of their riders won on a two-stroke; they began changing rules the following year, including an addendum that only Canadian riders could ride a two-stroke in the 250 class… that sanctioning body is off in the weeds a bit, but it proved that you can certainly be competitive on a two-stroke with even displacement. 


Yo Ping, 

Love ya, love ya on the show... What’s up, man? I'm a busy dad/husband who works two jobs (fly jets in the Air Force Reserves and Captain at an airline) and I feel like I'm at the losing end of a one-legged ass kicking contest. My question to you is: What’s it like being a firefighter to pay the bills, while working for Vital MX, hosting the "Whiskey Throttle show," and being a father/husband... all while maintaining a social life/riding moto? From the outside looking in, it appears like you got it all together. Any words of wisdom? Thanks, brotha. 



Sounds like you’re living the dream to me! The only occupation cooler than what I currently do is fighter pilot, and that is a tough gig to get! Maybe you’re on the bigger cargo jets… I’m not sure. Still, you’re serving the country, so I tip my cap to you, sir. Thank you for your service. 

I’ve definitely filled my plate, but I love all three jobs so much, I don’t want to quit any of them! I’ve had to get much better at time management; it’s important for me to really be “off-duty” when my girls are home so I can focus on being a good dad. Some days I’m just treading water, and others I can’t believe how lucky I am to be doing exactly what I love. I take my computer to their soccer practices and get some work done there, I do some computer work at night at the fire station, and I’m on my phone during any other free time trying to book guests for the show or work with sponsors. I can tell you my coffee intake has increased significantly the last few years… which is what brought me to one of our show sponsors: Fire Department Coffee! That partnership was a little bit serendipitous. I’ll make you a deal: Get me a ride on a fighter jet and I’ll take you out riding on one of our Vital Race Shop project bikes. That’s a fair trade, right? I can throw in a bag of coffee to sweeten the deal.




Did you think A1 was slower and more technical than previous events? I know there are so many comments that they need to slow the speeds down and wondered if you thought there was an improvement?



I do think it was an improvement over some of the tracks from the previous decade. There were far more 180-degree turns, which lend themselves to tighter racing with more passes, especially block passes. However, they still need to figure out how to keep speeds lower down the straight sections; the lane leading up to where Forkner went down in the heat was super-fast. I know the riders hate it, but some tighter, technical, out-of-rhythm sections can bring speeds down, as do bigger whoops right out of a corner. Also, making jump faces steeper will bring speeds down. Still, it was an improvement and I hope they continue to work on it throughout the season. Whoops around a sweeper turn? Wall tabletops? Deep sand? I’m in for all of these. 


Do you have a burning question you need answers for? E-mail Ping at ping@vitalmx.com. Want more? Click the @PING tag below to quickly find all the previous columns.

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